Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Erin Newton.
It stirred my soul to stand in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral remembering how a once-glorious building was nearly demolished by Hitler’s air force in November of 1940. All that remains is the shell. But the reason the walls of the cathedral are inspiring and the reason they were preserved are not because of its former beauty. The new cathedral was built next to the ruins of the old one because of how the cathedral community responded after the bombing, which also killed more than 500 citizens of Coventry.
Just a week before the bombs destroyed the sacred building, Provost Gordon Howard said in his sermon, “When the war is over, we will need to reach out to the people of Germany.” Within days, the city was bombed and the sincerity of this statement as well as his personal courage were tested. His call for reconciliation rather than revenge initiated efforts at reconciliation that have spanned the decades since. His message was shared not only with the citizens of Coventry but also via a BBC broadcast throughout England.
The Community of the Cross of Nails, of which Pullen is a partner, is but one manifestation of this call to reconcile with those who would be our enemies. The fact that we were joined in Coventry on the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the new cathedral by numerous Germans; that the history of CCN was recently written by a German; and that the English translation of this history was paid for by German Christians are other manifestations of the impact of one person’s commitment to the ministry of reconciliation. And the Cross of Nails hanging in Dachau, site of the notorious “model” German concentration camp, is yet another.
All of us have relationships in our lives—including with ourselves—that need reconciliation. Consider today whether one stop on your Lenten journey may be a place where the time for reconciliation has arrived.
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.